The book first appeared in 1935 and was revised and translated various times after that. The 14 parallels are listed in the 1960 third edition, which was translated into English in 1966. See Joachim Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus, 3rd ed. (London: SCM Press, 1966), esp. pp. 42–61. His 14 parallels may be summarized as follows: (1) The Last Supper took place in Jerusalem, (2) in a room made available to pilgrims for that purpose, and (3) it was held during the night. (4) Jesus celebrated that meal with his “family” of disciples; and (5) while they ate, they reclined. (6) This meal was eaten in a state of ritual purity. (7) Bread was broken during the meal and not just at the beginning. (8) Wine was consumed and (9) this wine was red. (10) There were last-minute preparations for the meal, after which (11) alms were given, and (12) a hymn was sung. (13) Jesus and his disciples then remained in Jerusalem. Finally, (14) Jesus discussed the symbolic significance of the meal, just as Jews do during the Passover Seder. For brief surveys summarizing the question see Robert F. O’Toole, “Last Supper,” in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 6 vols. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1992), vol. 4, pp. 235–236 and Gerd Theissen and Annette Merz, The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996), pp. 423–427.
For a representative statement denying the historicity of the Last Supper traditions, see Robert W. Funk and The Jesus Seminar, The Acts of Jesus: The Search for the Authentic Deeds of Jesus (New York: HarperCollins, 1998), p. 139.
For an excellent treatment of what we can and cannot know of the historical Jesus, see the recent book by my colleague Paula Fredriksen, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews: A Jewish Life and the Emergence of Christianity (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999).
For an excellent summary of Judaism in Jesus’ time—one which makes judicious use of rabbinic evidence—see E.P. Sanders, Judaism: Practice and Belief 63 B.C.E.–66 C.E. (London: SCM Press, 1992). For more on the use of rabbinic sources, see Sanders’s Paul and Palestinian Judaism: A Comparison of Patterns of Religion (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1977), esp. pp. 59–84.
There are those who attempt to harmonize John and the synoptics by supposing that they disagreed not about when the Last Supper occurred, but about whether the date of Passover was supposed to be calculated by following a solar calendar or a lunar one. Annie Jaubert presents this theory in her book, The Date of the Last Supper (Staten Island: Alba House, 1965). This view cannot be accepted, however. It is too difficult to conceive of Passover having been celebrated twice in the same place without any contemporary or even later writer referring to such an event. Surely it would have been remarkable if two Passovers were held in the same week! Moreover, while we do know of solar calendars from the Book of Jubilees and the Temple Scroll, we do not know how any of these calendars really worked. Jubilees’s calendar, for instance, explicitly prohibits any form of intercalation (the adding of extra days in a leap year). And without intercalation, by Jesus’ time, Jubilees’s 364-day solar calendar would be off not just by days, but by months. It is only by hypothesizing some manner of intercalation that we can even come up with the possibility that in Jesus’ time the two calendars were both functioning, but off by just a few days. Thus in the end, Jaubert’s book presents a good theory, but it remains just that, a theory. For more on these questions, see James C. VanderKam, Calendars in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Measuring Time (London: Routledge, 1998).
On the question of Jewish authorities and their role in Jesus’ death, see John Dominic Crossan, Who Killed Jesus? Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of the Death of Jesus (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1995).
For more on the parallels between the Didache and the Jewish Birkat ha-Mazon, see Enrico Mazza, The Celebration of the Eucharist: The Origin of the Rite and the Development of Its Interpretation (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1999), esp. pp. 19–26 (where he discusses these parallels) and pp. 307–309 (where he provides translations of the texts).
A useful version of the traditional text of the Haggadah, with introduction and translation, can be found in the widely available edition of Nahum N. Glatzer, The Passover Haggadah (New York: Schocken Books, 1981). Those interested in appreciating how the Haggadah brings together material from various historical periods might look at Jacob Freedman, Polychrome Historical Haggadah for Passover (Springfield, MA: Jacob Freedman Liturgy Research Foundation, 1974).
Finkelstein published his theories in three articles: “The Oldest Midrash: Pre-Rabbinic Ideals and Teachings in the Passover Haggadah,” Harvard Theological Review (HTR) 31 (1938), pp. 291–317; “Pre-Maccabean Documents in the Passover Haggadah (Part 1),” HTR 35 (1942), pp. 291–332; and “Pre-Maccabean Documents in the Passover Haggadah (Part 2),” HTR 36 (1943), pp. 1–38. Glatzer summarizes some of Finkelstein’s claims in The Passover Haggadah, pp. 39–42.
Goldschmidt, The Passover Haggadah: Its Sources and History (in Hebrew) (Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 1960). Glatzer’s edition of the Haggadah (cited above) is based in part on Goldschmidt’s research, but the first edition of Glatzer’s Haggadah was published in 1953, years before Goldschmidt’s final 1960 version of his article.
See especially the collection of essays, Passover and Easter: Origin and History to Modern Times, ed. Paul F. Bradshaw and Lawrence A. Hoffman (Notre Dame, IN: Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 1999). Those who read Hebrew will want to consult Shmuel Safrai and Ze’ev Safrai, Haggadah of the Sages: The Passover Haggadah (in Hebrew) (Jerusalem: Carta, 1998).
Baruch Bokser, The Origins of the Seder (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1984).
Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sabbath, 15a.
This view can be traced back well into the middle ages—it is advocated in a 14th-century Haggadah commentary by Rabbi Simeon ben Zemach Duran. This view has also been advocated more recently by, among others, Daniel Goldschmidt, Joseph Tabory, Israel Yuval and Baruch Bokser. Bokser, Origins of the Seder, pp. 41–43, 79–80, and 119 n. 13; Goldschmidt, Passover Haggadah, pp. 51–53. See also the articles by Joseph Tabory and Israel Yuval in Passover and Easter, esp. pp. 68–69 (Tabory) and pp. 106–107 (Yuval). Goldschmidt, Tabory and Yuval go even one step further, suggesting that Jeremias had it backwards. It was not that Jesus was reinterpreting a prior Jewish tradition. Rather, Rabban Gamaliel the Younger required the explanation of the Passover symbols as a way of countering Christian manipulation of these symbols.
Tosefta Pesahim 10:12; see Bokser, Origins of the Seder, pp. 41–43, 79–80.
Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, pp. 66 and 122–125.
On the Quartodecimans and on fasting before Easter, see Bradshaw, “The Origins of Easter” in Bradshaw and Hoffman, Passover and Easter, pp. 81–97.
See Karl Georg Kuhn, “The Lord’s Supper and the Communal Meal at Qumran,” in The Scrolls and the New Testament, Krister Stendahl, ed. (New York: Harper & Row, 1957), pp. 65–93. Kuhn builds here on work of B. Lohse, published in German (and cited in his article). See also Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, pp. 216–218.
Bruce Chilton, A Feast of Meanings: Eucharistic Theologies from Jesus Through Johannine Circles (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994), esp. pp. 93–108.
The term “Passoverize” is used by Mazza, in his brief treatment of the issue; see Celebration of the Eucharist, pp. 24–26.
See especially W.D. Davies, Setting of the Sermon on the Mount (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1964), pp. 25–92.
Commonly entitled “On the Passover,” the sermon survives in numerous copies and fragments in Coptic, Greek, Syriac, Latin and Georgian. The oldest copy, from the third or early fourth century, is in Coptic. See James E. Goehring and William W. Willis, “On the Passover by Melito of Sardis,” in The Crosby-Schoyen Codex MS 193, James E. Goehring, ed. (Leuven [Louvain]: Peeters, 1999).
On the medieval debate between the Catholic and Orthodox churches on this matter, see Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, vol. 2, The Spirit of Eastern Christendom (600–1700) (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1971), pp. 177–178. On the archaeological evidence pertaining to this dispute, see George Galavaris, Bread and the Liturgy: The Symbolism of Early Christian and Byzantine Bread Stamps (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1970).